Does Eating Smaller Meals More Often Help You Lose Fat and Build Muscle? (3 Strikes, You’re Out)
People are often told that eating smaller meals more often is better than eating larger meals less frequently for two mains reasons:
1. Is that frequently eating small meals will boost or “fire-up” your metabolism which will cause your body to burn more fat.
2. That regularly eating small meals will keep your muscles fed without leaving excess food to be stored as body fat.
Research Links and Study Results:
1. PubMed.gov: http://bit.ly/2skHk4T
This study compared one group that ate 6 meals a day vs. a group that ate 3 meals a day to see if increased meal frequency helped with fat loss.
The conclusion of this study was that “increasing meal frequency from 3 to 6 meals per day has NO SIGNIFICANT EFFECT on 24-h fat oxidation.”
2. International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSA): http://bit.ly/2sU7BUj
This study compared two groups that ate the same total amount of food, one eating it in 2 meals and the other in 6, to see if higher meal frequency elevated metabolic rate.
The conclusion in this study with regards to metabolism was that “it appears that increasing meal frequency DOES NOT statistically elevate metabolic rate.”
3. Research Paper by Dr. Layne Norton: http://bit.ly/2skkDxq
PDF download: Layne Norton on Meal Frequency: http://bit.ly/2sTVsPz
In this paper Dr. Layne Norton suggests that “one consume 4-6 larger protein doses per day instead of 6-8 meals and wait 4-5 hours between meals rather than 2-3 hours.”
Eating smaller meals more frequency doesn’t seem to have any addition benefit when compared to eating larger meals less frequency. How often you eat is something flexible and subject to your lifestyle and personal preference.
What DOES matter when it comes to losing fat and build muscle is making sure you consume the correct amount of total calories and macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) on a day to day basis.
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